Egyptian Arabic: to challenge/challenging

Timmy123

Senior Member
NYC
English
Hi

How are these articulated in Egyptian dialect:

he challenged - to challenge

I want to challenge him (in a debate/basketball match)
Why are you always challenging him? (figuratively)
It was a very challenging experience.

Regards :)
 
  • Josh_

    Senior Member
    U.S., English
    itHadda -- he challenged

    taHaddi -- challenge (noun)

    My try at the sentences, although there may be better ways to phrase them:

    I want to challenge him (in a debate/basketball match)
    3aayiz atHaddaa (fi muna2sha/(mubaraat) koorit is-salla)

    Why are you always challenging him?
    bititHaddaa dayman leeh?

    It was a very challenging experience.
    kaanit tagriba ... (I'm actually not sure about this one, but I don't think the adjective mitHaddiyya would work).
     
    Last edited:

    Ghabi

    AL/OL/Ar/Zh mod
    Cantonese
    It was a very challenging experience.
    kaanit tagriba ... (I'm actually not sure about this one, but I don't think the adjective mitHaddiyya would work).
    I'm very interested to know the translation, too, since "challenging" is one of the most challenging words to translate into Chinese (good Chinese, that is), especially for a vocab-challenged guy like me. I always got a headache when I see it.:(
     

    londonmasri

    Senior Member
    English
    itHadda -- he challenged

    taHaddi -- challenge (noun)

    My try at the sentences, although there may be better ways to phrase them:

    I want to challenge him (in a debate/basketball match)
    3aayiz atHaddaa (fi muna2sha/(mubaraat) koorit is-salla)

    Why are you always challenging him?
    bititHaddaa dayman leeh?

    It was a very challenging experience.
    kaanit tagriba ... (I'm actually not sure about this one, but I don't think the adjective mitHaddiyya would work).
    May I ask - 'why are you challenging me' = 'bitit7addeny leeh'. Is this correct?

    It was a very challenging experience.
    kaanit tagriba ... (I'm actually not sure about this one, but I don't think the adjective mitHaddiyya would work).
    Do you mean that it wouldn't work in this context specifically? Could you possibly give some examples in which mitHaddiyya would work?

    Thanks
     

    Josh_

    Senior Member
    U.S., English
    May I ask - 'why are you challenging me' = 'bitit7addeny leeh'. Is this correct?
    If said to a man:
    بيتحدّاني
    bititHaddaani

    If said to a woman:
    بتتحدّيني
    bititHaddiini

    Do you mean that it wouldn't work in this context specifically?
    Yes. I am not sure it could be used in that example, mainly because I am not sure if it can be used as a passive participle and also, I am not sure if it is used in all the senses that the English word is used in.

    Could you possibly give some examples in which mitHaddiyya would work?
    It can be used as an active participle and can be used like other active participles. Examples:

    هوَ متحديني
    huwwa mitHaddiini
    هيَ متحديّاني
    hiyya mitHaddiyyaani

    ممَ متحديينّي
    humma mitHaddiyyinni


    He/she/they are challenging me.
    You're welcome.

    I was thinking about this sentence more:
    It was a very challenging experience.
    ...and perhaps we could use the maSdar تحدي and say something like this:

    كانت تجربة مليانة تحديات.ـ
    kaanit tagriba malyaana taHaddiyyaat.

    Otherwise, the best option might be to look up "challenging" in a dictionary or thesaurus to gain some insight and then translate one of the meanings therein.

    Hopefully others will chime in.
     
    Last edited:

    cherine

    Moderator
    Arabic (Egypt).
    I don't think we have the adjective "challenging" in Arabic. I also checked in French and Spanish, and they seem to translate it sometimes as "difficult" or "complicated".
    So, a challenging experience is تجربة صعبة a challenging situation موقف صعب/معقد

    Josh's suggestion مليانة تحديات is correct, but I think صعب/معقد is more common and simpler.
     

    Ghabi

    AL/OL/Ar/Zh mod
    Cantonese
    I don't think we have the adjective "challenging" in Arabic. I also checked in French and Spanish, and they seem to translate it sometimes as "difficult" or "complicated".
    So, a challenging experience is تجربة صعبة a challenging situation موقف صعب/معقد

    Josh's suggestion مليانة تحديات is correct, but I think صعب/معقد is more common and simpler.
    Hehe;), great to hear that, since I had a hunch that it doesn't exist in Arabic either (and perhaps not in many other languages).

    That's the problem: in many contexts "challenging" is not simply صعب/معقد, it's ... um ... just something more than صعب/معقد ...
     

    cherine

    Moderator
    Arabic (Egypt).
    Like شديد الصعوبة/التعقيد ? :D
    Why not give us one of those contexts so that we can try to work it out together? It's easier than guessing without an example.
     

    Finland

    Senior Member
    finnois
    Hello!

    Hehe;), great to hear that, since I had a hunch that it doesn't exist in Arabic either (and perhaps not in many other languages).

    That's the problem: in many contexts "challenging" is not simply صعب/معقد, it's ... um ... just something more than صعب/معقد ...
    Actually the situation with English nowadays is that "challenging" has become more or less a synonym for plain old "difficult". The basic content of the word is the same, but people just avoid talking about "problems" and "difficult tasks" and prefer "challenges" and "challenging tasks". It is often just a eufemism.

    Before, "challenging" seems to have had a more positive meaning. If a job was called challenging, it meant that it was stimulating (because it gave the worker challenges to meet). Nowadays, however, people talk about "challenging customers" and so forth, meaning just "difficult" but saying it in what they think is a more polite way.

    I think it is quite ok to translate challenging as صعب or معقد in many contexts. However, if the core meaning of challenges is really meant, then one has to find a way to use تحديات with a suitable verb. The same goes for French. A challenge in French is défi, but there is no adjective "challenging" in French, so one has to say e. g. "qui pose des défis".

    يقدم تحديات
    يفرض تحديات
    يطرح تحديات
    يجلب تحديات
    etc. etc.

    S
     

    Ghabi

    AL/OL/Ar/Zh mod
    Cantonese
    Actually the situation with English nowadays is that "challenging" has become more or less a synonym for plain old "difficult". The basic content of the word is the same, but people just avoid talking about "problems" and "difficult tasks" and prefer "challenges" and "challenging tasks". It is often just a eufemism.
    Agree!:thumbsup: It's the same in Chinese due to the influence of English.

    Before, "challenging" seems to have had a more positive meaning. If a job was called challenging, it meant that it was stimulating (because it gave the worker challenges to meet).
    Yes, in some contexts when we say something is "challenging", we mean it's tempting/inviting/attractive because of its very difficulty.

    For example, we may say:

    Learning Arabic is a challenging experience. It's not for the faint-hearted. But when the going gets tough, the tough gets going.

    I think it is quite ok to translate challenging as صعب or معقد in many contexts.
    Sure, when people use the word in the hackneyed way. And that's when your job becomes easy.:D

    However, if the core meaning of challenges is really meant, then one has to find a way to use تحديات with a suitable verb. The same goes for French. A challenge in French is défi, but there is no adjective "challenging" in French, so one has to say e. g. "qui pose des défis".

    يقدم تحديات
    يفرض تحديات
    يطرح تحديات
    يجلب تحديات
    etc. etc.
    What else can I say but :thumbsup:? It's the way to go, although I imagine words other than تحديات/défi may be more suitable in some contexts.
     

    elroy

    Imperfect Mod
    US English/Palestinian Arabic bilingual
    I can definitely think of situations in which "challenging" doesn't mean the same thing as "difficult" or "complicated."

    I don't agree with Finland that "challenging" is simply a synonym of "difficult" in English. It is still frequently used with a positive meaning, at least in American English.

    For example, "The academic program at my undergraduate university was very challenging."

    "Challenging" in that context isn't really the same as "difficult" or "complicated." If an academic program is challenging, it requires the student to exert a great deal of effort, it keeps him on his toes, it constitutes a challenge - something that the student needs to overcome in order to succeed. Of course, this could be because it's difficult and/or complicated, but it doesn't need to be, and besides, the emphasis is different. "Challenging" is positive, whereas "difficult" and "complicated" are not. A university might call its program "challenging" in a promotional brochure, but it would never call it "difficult" or "complicated."

    Another word that is used with a positive connotation to express the "meatiness" of a program or course of study is "rigorous."

    Anyway, I think one way to translate "is challenging" is يشكل تحديًا, so you could say البرنامج الأكاديمي في هذه الكلية شكل لي تحديًا كبيرًا.

    "That was a very challenging experience." - شكلت لي تلك التجربة تحديًا كبيرًا.

    I think مليء بالتحديات is also a good translation that works well in certain contexts:

    "Learning Arabic is a challenging experience." - تعلم اللغة العربية تجربة مليئة بالتحديات.
     
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